Chicago has already gone through two kickers this season and will now add one more to the list in Week 14. The team has placed current kicker Cairo Santos on injured reserve thanks to a groin injury, reports Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Biggs adds in another tweet that the Bears are expected to replace him with veteran Mike Nugent.
Santos, 26, was signed by the team two weeks ago to replace Connor Barth. In that time, the former Kansas City placekicker converted just one of his two field goal tries to make him 4-5 on the year if you include his first three games of the season as a member of the Chiefs.
The 26-year-old had a decent three-year run in Kansas City before he was eventually replaced by Harrison Butker when Santos consequently suffered another groin injury earlier in the season.
In Nugent, Chicago brings in a kicker with a lot of experience. The 35-year-old is now playing in his 14th year in the NFL after most recently filling in for Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey for four games while Bailey was recovering from an injury of his own. However, Nugent was not steady during his short stint with Dallas, as he missed three of the seven kicks he tried. In his career, Nugent has converted just over 80% of his field goals, with his longest make coming from 55 yards out.
Chicago has not seemed to be able to get their kicking game right since the team moved on from its long-time kicker Robbie Gould after the 2015-16 season. They’ll likely be looking for a new full-time option to lock down the spot as they head into the offseason in a few weeks.
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